Saturday, July 24, 2010

Swingsets and Kitchen Tables

We've made a few changes to our house this summer...thanks to Craigslist and some hard work!

A couple of those changes are a 'new' swingset and 'new' kitchen table! We found the swingset on Craigslist. It was only a couple of years old and the price was right! I sweet-talked Sam, our friend Jamey, and my dad into traveling an hour and a half to use their man-power to take the thing apart! Once we got it home, we had to put in some good ole' fashioned elbow grease and clean the plastic and wood really well, but it looks great in our back yard! Sam's family was in town from Kansas City this week and they got to participate in some swingset fun!
Cori helping Michael climb the ladder to the monkey bars...
Cailyn's a little big for the slide!
Our other new addition is a new-to-us kitchen table! We got this table from my dad, but I never thought it would fit in our kitchen. All we had was a (very) small 4-person table, so when we had company we were hurting for places to sit. Well, one day last week, I thought we would risk it and see if the big table would fit and it was perfect!! We even had Sam's family over for dinner and everyone had a place to sit!
It was so much fun to have everyone in once place at the table. I'm looking forward to more family and friends gathering around in the future! Thanks for the table, Dad!

More house changes to come....

Thursday, July 15, 2010

2 Years Old

I was looking back at some pictures from last year and realized how much Michael has grown in a year! I wanted to share some things that he's doing now - some things are new and some things have stayed the same for a while. I just want to remember this stage of Michael's life and things that he enjoyed!
At 2 years old, Michael....
-weighs 24 pounds (8th percentile...I promise we feed him!) and is 34 inches tall (45th percentile)
-wears a size 4 diaper
-loves coloring and especially drawing basketballs
-sleeps about 12 hours every night - I am SO thankful! In the summer he's been sleeping from 10 pm-10 am.... So nice for his mama that loves to sleep as well!
-eats oatmeal just about every morning for breakfast
-has a sweet tooth that he inherited from Mommy
-loves to jump...on the ground, off of high things...anything! This is another post for another day...
-has really developed his basketball skills. He's pretty impressive!
-enjoys watching SuperWhy and Elmo on TV
-just developed a love for Thomas the Train, which he affectionately calls "Choo Choo Cain"
-has learned to "fist pump" when a fast song comes on the radio
-loves to play in the water - he asks to put his "feet in wawa" and splash!
-is pretty good at cleaning up after himself, especially when you sing the clean up song
-enjoys singing "Twinkle Twinkle", "Zacchaeus", and "Skiddamarink-a-dinky-dink"
-almost has "Goodnight Moon" and "I Love You Through and Through" committed to memory
-loves any sport that involves a ball - basketball, baseball, football, soccer, kickball, golf...etc!
I love watching him grow and change. I miss his baby phase, but I am so looking forward to what is yet to come in Michael's life! He has brought so much joy and FUN to our lives! Thank you, God, for letting us raise him and giving the wisdom we need as parents!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Michael's Monkey Party

Michael is 2! I cannot believe how fast those 2 years have gone! He's really been into monkeys - acting like one and watching Curious George - so I thought the monkey theme was so appropriate for his party. It was so cute, too! I love the yellow and turquoise together! I also made Michael's shirt to match the plates and napkins.
I found the idea for these monkey cupcakes online....I thought they turned out perfectly! Michael did too, apparently!
We had his party at a park by the lake with our family and friends. The weather could not have been nicer! It was perfect - not too hot like it usually is in the middle of summer. We set up our picnic table in the shade and had the perfect arrangement of trees to sit under. We were also right next to the lake, so people could enjoy that too.
We are definitely blessed to have such wonderful people in our lives. Look at all his gifts! We're now working on finding a place for all of them!
Happy Birthday, little man!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Fun Times in the DR

These are random fun pictures that I have... The beach pictures are next...
Family trip to 'la presa' - the dam - to swim and enjoy the scenery. We also encountered a 'vaca' - cow - while we were there. Michael loved to look at it and listen to it mooooo.
McDonalds = glorious!
Sam and I always like to go to an all-inclusive resort for a couple of days to end our trips to the DR. We've been to Punta Cana before, which is by far the best, but it was too far to drive this time. However, La Romana was a very close second place! We stayed at Hotel Catalonia Gran Dominicus Beach. It was such a nice place and the beach was amazing!! I'm not one to enjoy the seaweed and coral at the beach, so clear water is right up my ally.
It was nice to finish our trip sleeping in an air-conditioned room and eating some good food. This place had specialty restaurants that were included in the all-inclusive price and the food was amazing! We were pleasantly surprised at the whole experience! We ate Mexican one night and goofed around with the sombrero decorations. Sam played around with the waiters saying that it was funny to see Dominicans dressed as Mexicans! The food was great though!
Michael enjoyed his time there as well! He especially loved the swimming pool! It was a gradual-entry pool, so he was able to sit down in the water and splash and play and enjoy being able to touch the bottom. Sam and I took turns watching Michael. He would play with him for a bit while I enjoying laying in the sun and then I would watch Michael while Sam played some intense volleyball. I must admit that I got to lay out more than Sam played volleyball. He's a good husband, huh?

Monday, July 12, 2010

La Gente - The People

We are home from the Dominican Republic and have jumped back into our normal routine. We officially got to our house Friday morning (Michael's 2nd birthday), threw our bags in the door and left for Michael's 2 year check-up. His party was on Saturday, so we were enjoying the day, unpacking, and preparing for the party. We're just now really able to sit down and relax and upload our pictures to our computer.

Michael's birthday pictures will come later! It's soooo suspenseful, huh? This post is dedicated to the Dominican people with whom we spent our time.

In our past trips to the DR we have led youth group mission trips, but since we were taking Michael this year, we didn't want to be on a rigid schedule. We have built some strong relationships in the past, so we had plenty of people to visit, encourage, and love on! First stop was Pastor Quina's house. This is where Sofi lives as well...
Michael lovin' on Quina
Sam and Sofi
Michael, Me, Sofi, and Quina
After spending a week in Moca at Quina's house, we headed to San Juan where our friends Miguel and Kristen live. They have a little girl named Samantha - nicknamed Tika - who is just 6 months older than Michael. They played really well together and enjoyed each other's company! We had several 'pool' playdates when the afternoons were really hot! Kristen is also pregnant with their second girl and is due July 15!

We were also able to visit with some people that we knew from past trips. I don't have any pictures, but we spent time with Pastor Celanda and received a great rice-n-beans meal. We also spent time with our friend Jovanny. She is a new Christian who is struggling with a lot of things right now. She was able to confide in us and pray with us. Sam and I spent some time reading the Bible and trying to help help Jovanny find some answers. I hope that God used us to encourage her and I pray that he continues to speak to her through His Word.
Spending time with some Dominicans...loving on the babies! :)

There were some more fun times to be had, but this post is long enough.

To be continued....

Friday, July 2, 2010

San Juan de la Maguana

We're still in San Juan and have been for the past week! We've been spending a lot of time with Miguel, Kristen, and their daughter Samantha (who is nicknamed Tika). Tika has been very sick while we've been here, so we've been loving on them and letting Michael cheer her up! They've gotten to play in the "pool" on the back porch. It's actually a large bucket, but they love it! It's a great cool-down after a hot day!

We've also gotten to spend some time visiting with friends we have here. We've visited with Jovanny, a lady who lives down the street. She owns a salon, so we just go sit in her salon and spend time talking with her and praying with her. She's at a difficult time in her life and has many questions about Christianity, so she was in need of some encouragement. I'm glad that God used us to talk to her in that moment. We might go back and visit so that she can do my hair - she wants to cut it or color it, but I think we might just have it rolled! :)

We also got to visit with Celanda and her family. She's a pastor that we've worked with before. She opened her home up to us so that we could spend time with her - sharing stories and talking about this past year. She also fed us beans and rice! Sam and I weren't even hungry - in fact, we were actually still full from lunch - but we couldn't turn down a Dominican meal!

Michael is being loved on by everyone! Everyone loves the "rubio" - blonde-haired boy! He's not too fond of random people coming up and trying to grab him, but he's always up for giving a high-five! It's his way of communicating friendship! He's learned a few more words in Spanish - hola, gracias, adios! This is in addition to what he already knows - buenas noches, hasta manana, all his body parts! It's so fun to see him learning 2 languages! This has been a great experience for him!

Thanks for praying for us! We're here for one more week! We're headed to the beach tomorrow to spend a night with our friend Boz (the worship leader that flew in last week) and then back to San Juan for a couple more days. We haven't decided yet if Sam and I will go to the beach again as a family or not...We'll keep you posted!